Surgery, whilst being lifesaving in many cases, can be a scary thought for many. Tensions are usually high when one hears they must go under the knife. It can, however, help ease tensions if one is prepared before going into surgery, as this will lower the fears of surgery; this is because you would know what to expect and how life will be after surgery. So, here are 6 questions you can ask your surgeon before going under the knife.
The first thing to ask is how many surgeries like this they have performed. Knowing how many surgeries your surgeon has performed will put your mind at ease and simultaneously display the surgeon’s expertise. If the surgeon has performed hundreds of similar surgeries then you can feel at ease and know that you are dealing with an experienced surgeon. A good follow-up question is to ask- what is the success rate of this surgery? That way, you know your odds of a successful outcome and hopefully your life returning to a semblance of normalcy afterwards.
The next question to ask is how long recovery should take. Knowing how long you’ll be out of commission is crucial so that you can make the necessary preparations. You can schedule someone to look after your kids if needed and you can also know how long you’ll need to be off from work.
You can also ask your doctor what you can do before surgery, to make recovery easier and get the best results. Your doctor can then recommend action like, maybe losing 5 lbs, as this will ease the burden of recovery. They can also recommend specific dietary changes that might aid in recovery post-surgery.
Another question to ask is how much function you will regain after surgery. Whilst surgery can be a major contributor in restoring function, you may need to come to terms that things may never go back to being 100%. Surgery is there to get things as close to normal as possible. That way you can have realistic expectations and won’t beat yourself up if you’re not back 100% after a period of time.
The fifth question to ask is what prescription meds you may need and the side effects of these meds. Some prescription medications can leave you drowsy and incapacitated. Hence, it’s best to ask your doctor about these meds so that you know what you are getting yourself into and whether to avoid activities like driving when you take them.
The last, and maybe most important, question to ask is “will I benefit from therapy after surgery”, and the answer is a resounding YES! Therapy allows for recovery of function in an environment where you are monitored by a health care professional. Also, a trained therapist can pick up any muscle imbalances, weakness, provide gait training if necessary and help with return to prior level of function.
Hopefully the above discussion has helped to give you an idea of what you should consider if surgery may be an option you are mulling over in the future.